Researchers at University of California Irvine (UCI) have engineered mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to locate metastases of cancer in bone and deliver targeted therapeutic factors that destroy the cancer but not the surrounding bone. The issue with conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy is that although the treatment often successfully kill the cancer cells, they also severely damage the surrounding tissue, leading to a plethora of side effects. For this study, the researchers used MSCs that were genetically engineered to express surface proteins that are known to interact with cancer cells. Additionally, the stem cells expressed factors that prevent bone resorption, which would otherwise lead to bone loss following the cancer treatment.
This treatment, when brought to clinical trials, could be revolutionary in cancer treatments by eliminating the biggest hurdle of conventional chemotherapy. Additionally, the treatment takes advantage of the body’s natural repair mechanisms by using the MSCs as cancer homing devices, since the body already recruits these cells to repair damage to bone, skin, cartilage etc.
With clinical trials expected soon, this advancement in bioengineering will accelerate and broaden applications to treat a wider variety of tumors. By banking their own valuable stem cells, families can ensure that they will have access to these emerging therapies in the future. To learn more about banking stem cells, please visit StemSave or call 877-783- 6728 (877-StemSave) today.
The Future of Regenerative Medicine is Now™
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